Photo: David Dermer/AP
The AL East has been one of the strongest divisions so far this season, with 4 out of the 5 teams in playoff contention. The trade deadline is always a crucial week for teams that are trying to rebuild, and teams that are trying to make a playoff push. Here’s how the AL East did at this past weeks trade deadline.
Baltimore Orioles: D
Sitting in fourth place in the AL East, many assumed Baltimore would be sellers going into the deadline, but Dan Duquette had other plans. Attempting to bolster some of the roster’s biggest weaknesses, Duquette made moves to acquire Tampa Bay Rays SS Tim Beckham, and Philadelphia Phillies SP Jeremy Hellickson. The addition of Beckham makes a lot of sense, due to him being a much better option than Ruben Tejada. Hellickson however, makes no sense at all. The Orioles staff has a cumulative 4.95 ERA this season, which puts them 29th in the league. Hellickson’s 4.45 ERA is not nearly enough to fix this staff, much less make this team a playoff contender. If management truly wanted to turn this team into a contender, they should have made a much bigger splash at the deadline.
Jeremy Hellickson has allowed 22 home runs in 112.1 innings. He has already been an Oriole all season, in a way.
— Camden Chat (@CamdenChat) July 29, 2017
Boston Red Sox: C-
Surprising many, Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox were very quiet at the deadline. Due to being ranked 27th in home runs this season, many thought the Sox would be looking to find a power bat to add at the deadline. Instead, the team settled on RHP Addison Reed. Reed is a very solid relief pitcher, with an ERA of 2.56 on the season. However, most Bostonians wish their beloved Red Sox had added a big bat or even a quality starter to fill in for the injured David Price. The BoSox are a legitimate World Series contender this season, so let’s hope that Dombrowski doesn’t end up looking back, and wishing he had made more moves at the deadline.
New York Yankees: A
Unlike the Red Sox, the Yankees made a huge splash at the deadline this season. One of the biggest moves in the whole league, was when Brian Cashman pulled some strings and acquired ace Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics. Gray has been awesome this year, pitching to the tune of a 3.41 ERA. Along with Gray, the Bronx Bombers also roped in 3B Todd Frazier, and two RP’s in Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson from the Chicago White Sox, along with SP Jaime Garcia from the Minnesota Twins. The best part is that they did all of this without having to give up top prospects Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, or Chance Adams. Congrats Brian Cashman, you killed it.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays: B
2017 is a new look for the Rays. For the first time in a while, they were buyers at the deadline. The big splash was adding the power hitting 1B Lucas Duda from the New York Mets. Duda has been raking this year, with 20 home runs and a slugging percentage of .545. Tampa Bay has been an average offensive team this season, so Duda is a very nice addition. Eric Neander also chose to strengthen the bullpen by adding Dan Jennings from the Chicago White Sox and Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners. These moves may not be enough for the Rays to pass Boston and New York for the AL East crown, but this team has become a definite Wild Card contender.
Toronto Blue Jays: F
The Blue Jays had one of the most confusing deadlines in the whole league. Rather than deciding on whether to be buyers or sellers, Ross Atkins decided to make one trade that really made no sense at all. As expected, they got rid of struggling SP Francisco Liriano by sending him to the Houston Astros. But instead of bringing in one of Houston’s many solid prospects, the Jays settled on 35-year-old veteran Nori Aoki and an average prospect in Teoscar Hernandez. Toronto could have been big sellers at the deadline and pulled in some potential for the future, but they decided on accomplishing nothing at all.